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August 15th

Leslie, New York, USA
June 1999

Every August 15th, the Field Days are held in the small town where my mother grew up. Most of her family still lives in that small town, and my Uncle Paul (and Aunt Sharon) live in the house where he, my mother, their brother and sister, and my Grandparents lived in. My parents, my sister and I are regular visitors to this house, and every August 15th, when we come up for the Field Days, we stay a night or two at Uncle Paul's.

Aunt Sharon was (is) a big believer in the paranormal. When the family got together, she would sometimes talk about the footsteps she would hear in the middle of the night, the radio turning on...and I would listen, usually from the other room while pretending to watch TV, because my parents would shoo me away from the dinner table where the conversation took place, because I was to young to hear about these things (I most remember these conversations when I was probably 6-8 years old). But I listened anyways, and scared myself. And her stories were always accompanied by stories from my mother and other relatives about deaths in the family, and maybe other strange things that happened in the past, and I was just in my glory hearing all this (My family is Italian...great storytellers...). I would just sit, and listen, and wonder. It was always supposed, or at least by me, that the ghost was my Grandmother, who had died in this house.

One night (August 15) when I was seven or eight, I got to stay at the table and listen to the stories. After a few, I started crying, and asked why the ghosts want to scare us, to which my aunt told me, "They're not trying to scare us, they only think that they still live here. They think it's still their territory, they don't mean any harm." And I was brought into the living room to watch TV with my older cousins. They saw that I was upset, so they let me lay on the couch while they watched Saturday Night Live, and after a little while, I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, confused as to where I was. I remembered falling asleep with my cousins watching TV, and assumed they had slept over too, so I groped around the floor in the dark, until I came to a head of curly hair (Which I thought then was my older cousin, but now realize it was my little sister, who must've laid down her sleeping bag there while I was asleep). I started shaking (who I thought was) my cousin, and started crying, telling her to wake up. After it was obvious she wasn't gonna get up, I decided to wander into the other room, where my mother was sleeping on the couch. I laid down my sleeping bag next to the couch, and tried to fall back to sleep. I might've dozed for a little while and then woken back up, or just laid there with my eyes shut for a while, I can't remember, but I know that the next time I opened my eyes, I saw a thin, old woman dressed in a long black dress with a sort of high collar, and whose white hair was pulled into a tight bun standing behind the reclining chair about 5 feet from the end of my sleeping bag. Her head was bent down, with her eyes closed, and it looked to me as if she was praying, her hands were pressed together in that form. I quickly closed my eyes, and slowly pulled the covers of my sleeping bag over my head. After a few minutes, I peeked back out again, to see her in the same praying position, only this time next to the TV only about two feet away from me, I did the same a third time, and saw her again at the foot of my sleeping bag. She had never looked up from her prayers. After about ten minutes of hiding under my sleeping bag again, I looked out to find she had gone. I ducked under my covers and forced myself to fall asleep.

I had never told anyone about it, for a couple of months, I guess I was still scared. I finally told my mother one day, when she was getting dressed. Her side of the family was coming over that day. She gave me the expected explanation, "You probably just had a nightmare, you shouldn't listen to those stories we tell, you're too young..." Until I described to her what I saw. She stopped what she was doing and told me I had just described her Great-Grandmother (who died when she was seven or eight). That day, I told my family about it, and my Aunt Sharon was needless to say, very excited about the whole thing. I have never seen anything else strange in that house though, and she hasn't had any recent stories of footsteps, either. I've had one other strange thing happen to me when I was about 10, but it happened in my house, and I still can't talk about it comfortably...I'm still very interested in spirits, and other paranormal occurrences, and to this day, can't get to sleep unless my head is completely under the covers.

Thanks for listening, sorry about the length. There's another interesting side story to it, but I won't type it, you're probably all bored already. I've got a lot of other stories to, from my relatives, maybe I'll post them someday... I like to think that my Great-Grandmother was watching over me then, and maybe she still is now. Maybe she thought I was my mother, though, and she came back to see how she was doing. That's a nice thought too. My Grandmother also died before I was born, and my sister had a dream when she was little, that a woman came to her and said, "I'm watching out for you, I'd never hurt you." It's nice to think we have guardian angels...

Leslie, New York, USA
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